How to Get Your Apple Watch Up and Running

by

If you are one of the lucky few to receive your Apple Watch on launch day, you are probably excitedly going through the steps to setting up and customizing your device. With a completely new operating system to get used to, we’ve got a couple of tips for getting your Apple Watch ready for daily use.

Apple Watch Overview

Apple Watch Front

Apple yesterday released a user guide for its wrist-worn device that provides a detailed overview of the case for those who aren't yet familiar with various features. For starters, you can easily identify the Digital Crown/Home button on the side of the watch case. Press it to go to the Home screen while viewing an app, or to display the watch face.

You can also double-click the Digital Crown to access your most recently used app. To activate Siri, press and hold it. Zoom in and out or scroll by turning the crown.

The side button, which sits just below the Digital Crown is used to show or hide friends, turn on or off Apple Watch, and access Apple Pay (with a double-click).

Apple Watch Back

The back side of the case houses the speaker, heart rate sensor, and microphone. You will also be able to remove your watch band by pressing the band release buttons on the back of the case.

Setting Up Apple Watch

  1. Charge Apple Watch (if it needs it). Your watch should generally arrive with at least 50 percent charge to get you going right out of the box.
  2. Press the Home button on the Digital Crown to start up the watch and following the prompts to select a language and proceed.
  3. Pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone.
  4. Open the Apple Watch app on iPhone to access your apps and customize your experience. During the setup process, you will be asked whether you want to automatically install all Apple Watch-compatible apps or manually select apps for installation.

Customizing Apple Watch

The Apple Watch app on your iPhone lets you customize notifications, app layout, and more. You can also use it to set up Apple Pay and access the App Store so you can download compatible Apple Watch apps. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap "My Watch" to access the customizable settings.

For Apple Pay, you'll need to set up each card manually as you did on your iPhone, and the process will generally involve a confirmation step such as an activation code sent via email/text or a call to your bank to verify each card for use. Once your cards are set up, you can use Apple Pay from your watch even without your iPhone present.

Fine-Tune Apple Watch Settings

You may want to tweak the settings a bit if you discover that the alerts are too loud, the text is too small, or the screen is too bright, so head to the Settings app to make these adjustments.

Brightness and TextAdjust Brightness

  1. On Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Brightness & Text Size.
  3. Tap the Brightness symbol.
  4. Turn the Digital Crown to adjust.
  5. Or, access the settings from the Apple Watch app on the iPhone under My Watch

Adjust Text Size

  1. On Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Brightness & Text Size.
  3. Tap Text Size.
  4. Turn the Digital Crown to increase or decrease the size of the font
  5. Toggle the Bold Text switch to the On position to make text bold. Apple Watch will reset after turning on or off Bold Text.
  6. Or, access the settings from the Apple Watch app on the iPhone under My Watch.

Sound and HapticsAdjust Sound

You can increase or decrease the volume of the ringer and alerts on Apple Watch, or mute everything.

  1. On Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Sounds & Haptics.
  3. Tap the volume button under Ringer and Alert Sounds.
  4. Turn the Digital Crown to adjust the volume.
  5. To mute Apple Watch, toggle the mute switch to the On position.
  6. You can also mute Apple Watch by swiping up on the watch face. Swipe to the Settings glance, then tap the mute button.
  7. Or, Access the settings from the Apple Watch app on the iPhone under My Watch.

You can quickly mute a new alert or notification sound by placing the palm of your hand over the watch display and holding it there for three seconds. This feature is great when you forget to silence your Apple Watch before going into a meeting.

You must turn the feature on to use it.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap My Watch.
  3. Tap Sounds & Haptics.
  4. Toggle the Cover to Mute switch to the On position.

Settings GlanceTurn on Do Not Disturb

You can silence every aspect of Apple Watch, including screen lighting, using Do Not Disturb. You can specify a time period for the feature to turn on and off, designate certain contacts that can be filtered through, and quickly flip it on for a temporary silence.

  1. Swipe up on the watch face
  2. Swipe left or right to access the Settings glance.
  3. Tap the Do Not Disturb button.
  4. Or, on Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
  5. Tap Do Not Disturb.
  6. Toggle the switch to the On position.

Do Not Disturb MirroringYou can also silence both your iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time from the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

  1. Open Apple Watch app on iPhone
  2. Tap My Watch.
  3. Turn on Do Not Disturb.
  4. Then, turn on Mirror iPhone.
  5. Any time you change Do Not Disturb on iPhone or Apple Watch, the other will match it.

As a brand-new platform, there is a lot for users to learn about Apple Watch, and it takes some getting used to with multiple types of interaction methods. This guide is just a starting point for after you take it out of the box and before you leave the house, and we’ll keep you updated with more how-to guides to help you get the most out of your Apple Watch.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
72 months ago
Step first: Receive your Apple Watch in June.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago
I thought the first step to getting it up and running is to post in 25 threads how your order placed mere seconds after pre-orders opened still hasn't shipped.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago
Just learnt that a screen grab is possible with both buttons :-)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago

Anyone think we should fully charge before powering on at all? I realize it will still charge powered on, but just curious...


Won't matter!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago
I love mine already and I prefer to discover new gadgets just by myself without any guide. Thats why I didn't watch the Apple guides.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
72 months ago
I love my Space Gray 42mm so far. I have to say the band is far far better than I thought it would be (Black Floroelastemer), it's extremely comfortable. I hardly even feel like I'm wearing a watch were most of them bug the crap out of me (band wise).

The haptic feedback scared me at first lol. Felt weird. It's enjoyable now though each time I get a message. I almost want to enable a ton of notifications from more apps just so I can get it to do this more often haha. I currently have it set to just the notifications that are most important such as texts, bill reminders, calls, and such.

Great product and I can see getting an enormous amount of use out of it, happy I was able to get it on launch day!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Wednesday October 21, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana. Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the iPhone 12 Pro, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark

Wednesday October 21, 2020 3:17 am PDT by
After the first reviews for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro emerged yesterday, a new report by Tom's Guide reveals the extent of battery life reductions when using 5G. The report outlines a test wherein the iPhone surfs the web continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, launching a new site every 30 seconds until the battery drains. Interestingly, the test was run on an iPhone 12 and...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

French iPhone Boxes Come Packed in an Outer Box With Separate EarPods

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:52 am PDT by
After the news that France would be the only territory to continue to include EarPods with the iPhone, it seems that Apple is not packing the earbuds within the iPhone's box (via iGeneration). Screenshot from TheiCollection's review video The French iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro does not have a different retail box to accommodate EarPods, meaning that all iPhone boxes are consistent...

Some Defective Apple iPhone 12 Cases Shipping Without Speaker Holes

Wednesday October 21, 2020 12:54 pm PDT by
At least two customers who have purchased iPhone 12 cases have received defective cases that do not have speaker holes, which obscures the sound. Photo by Reddit user zarnold16 There have been two separate threads on Reddit from iPhone 12 customers who purchased a case and received one without speaker holes. One customer was told by an Apple advisor that the case wasn't meant to have...

Watch: New iPad Air Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted on reviews for the new iPad Air ahead of its launch on Friday. In addition to our more detailed review roundup, we've shared a handful of unboxing videos and first impressions of the device below. The new iPad Air via Karl Conrad The new iPad Air features a larger 10.9-inch edge-to-edge display, a faster A14 Bionic chip, and a USB-C port instead of Lightning. It is...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...